Six Dozen Guarani ‘Prisoners on Their Own Land’

Six Dozen Guarani ‘Prisoners on Their Own Land’

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September 15, 2010

More than six dozen indigenous people from the Guarani Kaiowá Y’poí in Brazil have effectively been turned into prisoners on their land.

According to the Indigenist Missionary Council (Conselho Indigenista Mission, CIMI), four weeks ago a group of gunmen hired by local landowners surrounded the Guarani, who set up a camp in April on a small portion of their ancestral land.

Since the Guarani–80 men, women and children in all–were surrounded, they have been forbidden to leave the camp. This has severely limited their access to food, water, education and health services.

Despite several local, national and international pleas for assistance, so far the government has refused to come to the Indigenous People’s aid, citing “security concerns.”

UPDATE: Amnesty International has started a letter campaign for the Guarani. You can sign it here:

Urgent Action Needed For Guarani Kaiowá Y’poí Community In Brazil: Gunmen Threaten Community

Original article in Portugese. Translated article c/o

About 80 members of the indigenous Guarani Kaiowá Y’poí in Brazil are being threatened by gunmen hired by local landowners. They are prevented from leaving their camp, resulting in lack of access to water, food, education and health.

The group claiming reoccupied farms as part of their ancestral lands near Paranhos, Brazil, in April. They are surrounded by gunmen hired by local farmers, who continually threaten them and shots have been fired into the air overnight. They are also prevented from leaving their camp. That left them in an emergency, without access to water, food, education and health.

The National Health Foundation for Indigenous People (FUNASA) not taken steps to provide care to the community, citing lack of security. The children of the community are getting sick due to lack of medical assistance and water and weather that is too dry. The community reported their case to the Federal Public Ministry, the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) and the police state, but no action was taken until now.

Previously, the Guarani-Kaiowá Y’poí community was violently evicted from their ancestral lands, in October 2009. During the expulsion, community members said they saw Vera Genivaldo being taken away by gunmen and his cousin Vera Rolindo fleeing into the forest. Genivaldo Vera’s body was found in a nearby river a few days later. His head had been shaved and his body showed many injuries. Rolindo Vera’s whereabouts remain unknown. After more than 300 days Rolindo’s family continues to hope that the federal police tell them what happened to him or to bring her body. The community wants to look for Rolindo but are prevented from leaving the camp.

PLEASE WRITE NO DELAY in Portuguese or in your language:


Minister of Justice
Hon. Minister
Luiz Paulo Teles Ferreira Barreto
Esplanada dos Ministerios,
Block “T”
70712-902 – Brasília / DF Brazil
Fax: 55 61 3322 6817 / 3224 3398
Treatment: Dear Minister

Special Secretary for Human Rights
Special Secretariat for Human Rights
Hon. Special Secretary
Mr. Paul of Tarsus Vannuchi Esplanada dos Ministerios-
Bloco T – 4 º andar, 70064-900 Brasilia / DF Brazil
Fax: 55 61 3226 7980
Treatment: Dear Mr. Secretary

And copies to:

Indigenous Missionary Council, (CIMI – local NGO)
CIMI Regional Mato Grosso do Sul
Av Afonso Pena, 1557 Room 208 Bl.B
79002-070 Campo Grande, Brazil

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